God Rewards Tithing

OK, this one drives me nuts.

I don’t show up in a church often, but when I do, I make sure to drop something in the collection box. After all, the minister needs to get paid, I want the place to have heat and air conditioning. I have no issues with supporting your church. If you want to go beyond “supporting the facilities and paying the minister” into the realm of enabling your church to perform “good works” - great. I’m sure many churches are as effective (and many probably more so) than the United Way. No problem there.

The problem comes in the cause and effect relationship some people appear to believe exists between giving money to the church (especially a certain percentage) and God rewarding them. Is their God really that shallow? Are they incapable of seeing that their neighbors haven’t cast a shadow on a church door for quite some time and are doing just fine - finanacally and personally - God has not yet smote them? Do they really believe they “buy” God’s favor? Is there something I’m missing here?

The philosophy is just so…offensive.

(Disclaimer: I’m a Unitarian Deist married to an atheist. My vision of God doesn’t really include “God, CPA and his son Jesus Christ, Auditor.”)

Does this refer to a specific Bible thing or is it just “common knowledge?”

I’ve heard a lot of people swear that it’s true, but when it *is * I kinda chalk it up to the better budgeting required to loosen up the required tithe from the monthly income. Of *course * you’re gonna start being better off financially if you’re paying attention to what you do with your money.

I tread carefully into this fully expecting it to blow up in my face, but God absolutely does say that he will reward those who give. Check out Malachi 3:10…

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

Thats some of the clearest language you’ll find on the subject anywhere although there are may other places in both the OT and NT where giving is mentioned (the parable of the Talent which starts in Matthew 25:14 is another one) It’s also, interestingly enough, the only place I am aware of where God actually says to put him to the test on something.

I’ve always loved the line by Bono from Bullet in the Blue Sky: “The God I believe in isn’t short of cash, mister!”

There’s a verse in the bible that says something about if you give, God will pour out more money than you can take.

BTW, I belive this to be true. It’s not so much buying God’s favor though.

Matthew 4:7 comes to mind.

Oh, wait, do not

Ino, yeah, I think that’s kind of funny.
I think the type of test in the verse you quoted is different than in the tithing verse.

Do, or do not. There is no buy.


I just realized I signed the wrong name :smack: . Just so there is no confusion, I use ‘switchdoc’ for every other forum I post to exept this one. Since the STMB is special I wanted a special name for here.


I think it’s more of a God rewards the faithful thing. God doesn’t need money just like God didn’t need sacrificial animals and God didn’t need Isaac. It’s a matter of sacrificing something that’s meaningful to you to show your faith. Regular tithing is a way to show your faith to God and support the church at the same time.

Yes, yes he is. OT God essentially works on rewarding the faithful and punishing the wicked. NT makes it a little more complicated with Judgement and all, but IMHO, remains about the same. I guess that’s just how their conception of God works.

Tithing has nothing to do with “buying” God’s favor as much as it’s being willing to be faithful and trust that he’ll take care of you even when you give up your last cent to him. It’s about faith (trust), and reward.

When I was growing up, my parents always tithed - and we were broke. I’m talking collect cans and bottles to pay for groceries, no heat in the winter broke. I was outraged when my parents would give up 10% - 10%! - of their money to the church as a tithe.

But you know what? I can’t tell how many times - they were literally innumerable - that they got that money back ten-fold. Bizarre, thousand dollar “refund checks” would come in the mail from a bill they had been incorrectly charged for months ago, with interest! Unexpected and unprecedented raises and bonuses through work, literally at the last second. A huge wad of $100’s found in an old picture frame the week after money was so tight they considered not tithing, but did anyway. A neighbor who just happened to be giving away their hot water heater on the day that ours broke down. The list goes on, and some of the circumstances were truly unbelievable, but we never went hungry and were always provided for. They always told me and pointed out that this was because they had the faith to tithe and just trust that they would be taken care of.

Now that I’m an adult, I’m broke as hell, and I can honestly say that I don’t tithe because I’m too afraid. Call it personal weakness, but I really can’t give away that last $50 on the trust that I’ll be taken care of. But all I know is that if you really do have that faith and put it on the line, you’ll be taken care of. I’ve seen it happen and lived it.

Just seems appropriate for those of us who do not believe.

There are plenty of people who believe. My ex-boss (may he rot in peace) was a prime example. Too many people were willing to overlook his evilness because of his big checkbook. Whenever his church (think PTL, but not as classy) needed money, he was one of 3 or 4 they would go to.

Yes, that’s what I was talking about. I’ve heard tons of stories like that.
Thanks for sharing, Freejooky.

I actually don’t have a problem with the “faith” part. I do have a problem with the “expectation” part.

In other words, if you give your money back to the church in the “faith” that God will provide, that is ok. When you give your money to the church with the “expectation” you will be rewarded tenfold, that seems…tacky. And giving away money with the “expectation” God will always provide seems stupid.

My family has a story like that too. God always provided. They were always broke, always believed God would provide, and somehow, he always did - for twenty years. Then the farm was repossessed and they declared bankruptcy in their 50s and lived off the state for the rest of their lives. I suppose you could say twenty years was a good run for God, but it does seem He let them down in the end - although you could say God then provided in the form of County Social Services. But then God seems to become something of a meaningless construct.

On the other hand, Brainiac4 and I aren’t huge believers. Yet he inherieted quite a bit of money from a “distant relative he’d never met” (which isn’t quite true, he’d met her twice or three times in his life) just in time for us to be able to pay for the adoption of our son. God rewarding us for our lack of belief, or just being related to the right person? I was terribly broke after my divorce - and suddenly was offered a promotion at work - God rewarding me for lack of belief or hard work giving me a deserved promotion? Needed a computer for school, and won a laptop. I’ve often gotten odd “surprise” money in my life - that situation doesn’t seem unique to believers.

Well, I’m a “recovering” baptist :smiley:

That is, that’s the church I grew up in, but though I’m still a christian, I don’t buy into many of the doctrines taught by the church I was born into.

I attend church occasionally, but I don’t stick to just baptist churches. It seems to me, that in many of the churches that I attend, the belief in this area ranges from quite OUTSPOKEN (evangelical black churches, which I LOVE for their wonderful energy, seem to be the most outspoken about their beliefs that you are prosperous if you tithe).

Whereas the presbyterian churches I’ve attended seem to have a quieter, “it’s understood” kind of philosophy about it.

That said, when I do attend church, I do tithe, but for the reasons given in the OP, not because I believe that there is any relation between my tithing, and “blessings”.

Tithing is also partly about acknowledging that everything we have is given to us by God, and so it’s really his stuff anyway. By giving a tithe, we remember this and show that we can give something back.

DangerDad grew up in similar circumstances to Freejooky’s, and is a firm believer in tithing as the Lord’s financial plan (his folks are still poor, and still being saved from utter ruin every few months at the last second–it’s quite nervewracking actually). It’s about trusting that you’ll be taken care of, and learning to sacrifice where it hurts–as CS Lewis said, charity should pinch!* I think we’ve been greatly blessed in our lives as well.

In our religion, we also think that tithing is the lower law. What we really should be doing, if we could be righteous enough, is living as the Christians in Acts did, putting our property in common and having no poor. Tithing is sort of a preparation or practice for that. It’s not ‘buying’ God’s favor, nothing can do that; tithing has to be given in the proper spirit or it’s useless as a spiritual help. The amount of money does not matter–it’s the faith and sacrifice that counts.

*I don’t mean that tithing is the same as charity–sometimes it is, and sometimes not, depending on where the funds go. I just mean the same idea applies.

Most people worship God with the expectation that he is a good God. If person X tithes because he is faithful, and God never rewards him for his faith, God isn’t really all that good. Technically, God will reward the faithful in the afterlife with an infinite reward, but it’s nice to think he rewards the faithful on the earth.

Who said that God only helps believers? :smiley:
In this type of theology, there’s a very weird and complicated thing going on between God and how the world works. For example, it’s not the most noble thing in the world to expect rewards, but it seems to me that God is willing to let us do just that. I couldn’t even begin to explain how God effects random things or sometimes doesn’t do anything to them.
It doesn’t really bother me that God doesn’t make sense. If He did, he wouldn’t be much of a god. :slight_smile:

I think part of tithing is also giving back to God what is His.
I honestly also think it has something to do with your attitude when you give. I don’t think that someone who’s being tacky about it would be as rewarded.

I call bullshit. You don’t “know” that. If you did, you’d do it yourself without fear. Not only do you not know it, you don’t even believe what you just told us. If you did, you’d be tithing yourself, secure that giving your money away is ultimately a smarter thing to do than using it to cover important expenses or putting it in a savings account.

I don’t get upset about being preached at when the person speaking actually believes what they’re saying, but your actions here are an admission that you believe your own words to be false.